Question for bass players

Hi there!

The bass player of one of the bands I’m in connects to the mixer (in rehearsals we all go to mixer and then headphones) directly out of his amp head.

I assume he’s using a line out from the amp head otherwise he would have fried the mixer channel already? Anyway, it sounds really bad to me (and the rest of the band members are not very happy either).

Is this a common practice? Not from what I read online but Idk… His amp head is a big and old Peavey (like 20 yrs old but can’t tell which model) and, as I said, no cab or cab simulation at all.

Honestly, driving me crazy lol. :tired_face:

Unfortunately, there is not enough info here to form a proper diagnostic.

If (and I hope this is the case) he comes out of his amp using the “D.I.” out, it could be that he needs to lower the input gain on his amp or it’s the input gain on the mixer that needs to be set properly. Since I don’t know the amp model, it’s hard to help you more than that.

My recommendation would be for him to use a D.I. box with a “through” output having his bass (or the output of his pedal board if he has one) into the D.I. input. Then have the D.I. out go to the mixer and the “through” to his amp.

A good example of such a D.I. box :

Me, I use my dwarf’s channel 1 to mixer and channel 2 to amp although I almost never power on the amp since we play exclusively with in-ear monitoring from the mixer.


Thanks for the answer. He uses no pedals and apparently he likes the sound.

Yes that’s what I thought was the way to go. Although I don’t get the point in having the “through” to his amp as its output would go nowhere?

The idea is to not use the amp if you are using in-ear monitoring.

But in case he has for some reason a need to use his amp the “Through” output will allow that while a signal is still sent to the mixer.

Now, his new problem is volume and EQ. If while using a D.I. box he bypasses his amp, he will need something (a pedalboard maybe :slight_smile: ) to make some adjustments there unless he stands right beside the mixer and wants to do these changes there. But, chances are that if he does not know how to hook his bass to a mixer, he will not have the knowledge to EQ from the mixer.

If he absolutely wants to use the Pre-Amp in his amp head, then he absolutely need a D.I out on that head (this is how we suppose he is connected right now). In this case, using a D.I. box may help isolate and reduce noise and other issues…



Yeah, I’d agree with @Simon. That Peavy probably does not have a DI out like most modern amps would have, and so a DI box will prepare the signal (level etc) for the mixer.

Could he perhaps get a modern amp head (these weigh almost nothing these days) and bring that to the rehearsals to both provide a DI out and connect it to the cab (that I assume is in the rehearsal room presently connected to the Peavy), in case he wants a “monitor” for himself?!

Or, really, a good pre-amp pedal with a DI out! (Ampeg makes good one; though not cheap)

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That would be great but he seems happy with his sound. So Idk, I don’t want to step up and say his sound is crap. And no he doesn’t have a cab there as we monitor through headphones.

Thanks for the reply!

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Ah, yes, sorry, no cab…

Hm, that’s a tricky one. If none of you are crazy about his sound, perhaps it really is the best to have a chat about it. Make sure to praise his playing (if you otherwise like what he does) but tell him the bass would be more impactful for the music if the sound was a bit less abrasive/dark/muddy/…

If you don’t like his playing either, then maybe it’s time to look for a new bass player :sweat_smile:


I don’t know what kind of music you play, but if he goes directly to the mixer maybe also think about adding some compression to the bass. That could help him to settle better into the whole mix, especially when you feel like he’s blowing you away in louder passages, while he’s not hearing himself in other songparts.

When i started playing bass I also struggled to find my place in the mix. A Preamp/DI and a Compressor made it so much easier to find the right spots for my metal/rock/stoner projects.

Bought an older version of that one around ten years ago and it did a perfect job since then:

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Ah the joys of being in a band lol. Thanks all for your replies.


Could you be a bit more specific about what you don’t like about the sound? Bass sounds can be veeery different. So, it could be just a matter of taste, and nothing objectively “wrong” :person_shrugging:


True! It’s very mid focused. Very dry. I feel like we’re playing without bass and there’s another weird guitar there doing stuff.

It’s also loud but this is a different problem that can be solved adjusting the mixer volume and I guess his headphones output level or something. He says he needs to hear himself (as we all do) but he was loud enough to make the mixer clip so I had to lower the main volume to make everything quieter :face_with_spiral_eyes:. So he’s still the loudest instrument there.

Also he plays in a very percussive way which doesn’t really fit the songs we’re playing (in my opinion) and added to the mid focused tone makes it really hard to listen.

I’ll add here although his technique is pretty good, his timing is not. :tired_face:

So yeah, sorry to show my frustration here.

I need to say I love bass! We had another bass player before and we never had this kind of problem. Or maybe it’s just me? The singer/guitar player and the drummer agree with me but they don’t seem as bothered by it. Also they don’t really care much about tone or even playing ‘in the pocket’.

I’m not a great guitar player either (just an amateur that enjoys making music and gigging now and then) and we all have our limitations in skills, gear or ‘good ear’ :ear:t3:and also different influences and taste. I just think the tone and timing are as important as the rest of elements of the song. I’m starting to think I’m the problem and I may leave the band because of this. It would be sad because the other band I’m in it’s a cover band where I only learn my part and that’s it while this one is where I put my creative effort and I really like the songs we make!

Sorry about the big chunk of text and thanks again.


Yikes. I feel like the most important part for a bass player is timing.


I agree. We went to record a few songs to a studio last year and most of the time I was watching the studio guy fix the bass fills by hand in the DAW. :roll_eyes::speak_no_evil:


Try this amp, small and has everything you need!

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I just listened to it in YouTube and sounds great! And so convenient! Problem is I feel like he won’t spend a euro. He thinks his amp head is great. And maybe it is… I guess just the settings are not right.

Apologies for venting all this stuff here. It was like a therapy session. Thanks all for your help.


No worries - we can’t condone lazy or careless bass players :wink:

I see you are from Spain - check out this dude (speaking of bass players):



Like someone else in the thread mentioned you might want to get another bassplayer…??
The only concern I have is nobody else in the band either hears or notices what’s going on, you might be better off just not poking the bear, and leave it alone. Or find another band with less problems……

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Duuuude! I LOVE the vibe! Thanks for sharing!

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Yeah that’s where I am right now. We all have our own idea of what sounds good or not. Maybe I’m the problem… Who knows… Anyway I wish all the problems in life were just like this. Ha!

I still feel lucky to be able to play and make music with other people.


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